Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Liz Prescott




Maine.  I owned a store around the corner from Portland Art Gallery on Exchange St in the 90’s. I was commuting from Portsmouth, NH, a wonderful artsy town down the coast that had me under its spell, but eventually I realized the practicality of living and working in the same state.  I moved to Freeport in 1995 and have never looked back.  I love the water, the mountains, outdoor sports, as well as the culture a small city can offer, so Southern Maine is a perfect fit for me.  (I still visit Portsmouth regularly!)


Inspiration. Landscape and color drive my work.  Quality of light.  Horizon lines. Patterns in nature.  The juxtapositions of structures and organic elements.  Currently I am fascinated by reflections along the waterfront, zooming in to see how close to abstraction I can take them until they simply dissolve into shapes and patterns.  The inspiration is endless.


Medium. I primarily work in acrylics because I work fast, so their fast-drying nature suits my process.  When I work larger I switch to slow drying acrylics because they allow ease in the coverage of large surfaces, and they are still water based for easy clean up.  This is not to say that I don’t pick up my oil tubes sometimes.  There is a lusciousness to oils that is seductive. I also love gouache and watercolor.  Each medium has their own attributes and challenges that inform one another.


Artist Hero.  The first two artists I recall from childhood are Georgia O’Keeffe and Robert Rauschenberg, two very different artists but each had a strong impact on my psyche in my high school years.  In college Richard Diebenkorn and the San Francisco Bay Area Painters cemented my love of color and loose brushwork.  The playful, figurative work of Wayne Thiebaud’s bakery cakes and the color fields of Mark Rothko.  The list goes on…


Studio. My studio is down the hill from my house in Freeport.  It sits beside a 150 acre working farm, yet it’s a short ride to Portland.  It has enough space to hang my work to get a good look and private enough that I can turn up the music and sing to the Canada geese and wild turkeys. I feel truly blessed.  It’s my happy place.


Where in Maine. Right now I am drawn to the coast and water.  Teaching annual workshops on Monhegan has become an important part of my life.  I cannot wait to get back to the island the moment I leave.  Several years ago an artist friend introduced me to the Schoodic Peninsula at Acadia, just beyond Mt. Desert Island.  This is now another special place where I will return year after year.  I am drawn to quiet, beautiful places where there is lots of time for peace and contemplation, like so many of us. It is my muse.


Fun Fact. I have a second love…jewelry.  Specifically gemstones and silver.  I head to Tucson with my mother to buy beads at the gem shows and drink margaritas in the desert every February, for almost 20 years now.


Education.  I hold a BA in Studio art and Psychology from the University of Vermont.  After a decade of running a small retail store I then decided to finally dive headfirst into my art practice.  I received a BFA in Painting from Maine College of Art as a non-traditional student in my early 30’s and went right on to do an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Norwich University.  I graduated 5 months pregnant with my first son, balancing art, jewelry and raising a family for many years.




Learn more about this artist:


Available artwork


Radio Maine podcast interview #111


Off The Wall magazine Q&A